Tuesday, September 16, 2014

once you are real

~facebook status from last week~

I was up late last night not feeling well... I was reading some things I'd written as a teenager and young-married... I started to feel all of the depression and hurt of this last year or so come crashing down on me... I sat in my dark living room, just crying. Crying because I hate being in physical pain... crying because I so badly want children... crying because change and new people are so hard for me... crying because, sitting in the silence, far away from home, sick, and still childless, my loneliness is suffocating.
In those wee hours of the morning, I typed out my frustration in a prayer to God, begging Him for grace through this season... that I would feel His comfort and reclaim His joy... that I would *want* intimacy with Him. Without Him I so quickly become hateful of myself and bitter towards the happiness of others. This song came to my heart like a spark of light and I sat listening to it for a while... crying more...

Draw me close to You
Never let me go
I lay it all down again
To hear You say that I'm Your friend.

You are my desire
No one else will do
Cause nothing else can take Your place
To feel the warmth of Your embrace

Help me find a way
Bring me back to You

You're all I want
You're all I've ever needed
You're all I want
Help me know You are near...

 This song is my prayer... that I would find myself so close to Christ that I need nothing else.

I receive so many comments, both on my blog and through facebook, about how encouraging, comforting, and freeing the honesty on my blog has been...  And if there is one thing this last year has taught me, it is how to be real.  I'm learning that I really don't care if other people don't like me when they see the struggles I face or if they lose faith in me when I reveal my imperfections.

But there's a huge responsibility when you make a promise to yourself and others that you are being honest.  Because it is so easy to end each "difficult" post with some kind of higher thinking or spiritual victory.  Friends, sometimes my victories don't come for days- weeks - at a time.  And sometimes those victories look like actually having enough faith in the day that I rearrange my furniture, clean something, and cook supper... and it's an even bigger triumph when I find myself enjoying it.

Anxiety, depression, etc... they are powerful monsters.  They send me into weeks where I cry every. single. day.
They make me not want to be happy.

I deal with these things, friends.  Sometimes only a little and I can be happy... but sometimes it is nearly debilitating.

A great risk with being honest is it becomes a new kind of "perfection" in the writing world.  And there is also this creeping feeling that I can only share my struggles when I have reached a point of "eternal perspective" on them.

Well, some things I will never understand and there are some things I won't get over.

As I've said many times, I can move forward... I can choose in my heart to find joy.  I can determine to love my life.  But that won't magically take the hurt away or make me healthy.  It is a start, but the start of a long journey that will have ginormous bumps in the road (already has!!).

I have recently committed in my heart to reclaim joy.  It hasn't been easy so far, but I am beginning.  It takes more strength than I have within me... that's why God can be so strong in me.  And maybe that's what people see... at least I hope so.

I'm just a small, hurting, angry girl who doesn't know how to handle pain, emotions, or loss.  The only good I can claim is that I know the One who is greater, higher, and stronger.  Why He loves me, I'll never know... but I'm so glad He does.

See Him, friends.  He is the most beautiful and loving.  He is my ability to write, share, love, and even try to find joy. 
He is real.

"once you are real you can't become unreal again.
it lasts for always."
~ the velveteen rabbit

Thursday, September 11, 2014

september sun

Cream Speckled Blouse, Mint Camisole,
Blue Jeans, "London" Tennis Shoes,
Bird Necklace, Bird Earrings, Pearl Earrings ~
all from Walmart!

 My husband loves being outside... by outside, he means in the middle of nowhere with no restrooms nearby.  I am a city girl.  I love the outdoors, but I am very unused to the "wild" outdoors.
But I can't help but fall in love with beautiful places like this.


I love dressing in a feminine way, but (as I've said many times) there are days that call for a more simple approach.  I firmly believe I can be just as feminine in a sweet, casual outfit as I am in a dress!  Besides that, a dress might not have mixed well with the bushes and ants.  ;-)
Of course, simple and casual doesn't mean you can't feel pretty!  My outfit of choice for a day of fishing and tromping through the woods was a pair of jeans and a soft cream blouse I recently picked up at Walmart.  For a splash of color, I layered a mint camisole underneath!
For accessories, I wore a bird pendant necklace with pretty pink hues and also both my flying bird and pearl earrings.
My hairstyle was very practical, starting with two braids (one in the front with my bangs and one wrapping around the back) that joined into one braid on the side and the hung over my shoulder.  I love that it kept my hair out of the way yet still stayed true to my woman-ness. 

*sigh of happiness*  I love pictures in nature!!!  And isn't Andrew getting good at taking my pictures??? 

So, do you find yourself in situations where dressing super fancy (or even wearing a more casual skirt) just doesn't work?  Do you struggle with this or have you found fun solutions?
I'm excited about some of the more casual outfits I've been wearing... still keeping myself happy with little detailing that makes me feel like a woman, but also seeing how to be practical.
Next week Andrew and I will begin leading the Wednesday children's ministries at our church, so that will definitely give me opportunity to try out this whole "practical" clothing thing (I will definitely take pictures of some of those outfits and share)!  Also really motivates me to not spend tons of money on a blouse that might get glue or grass stains on it!  ;-)


I hope you all have a lovely remainder of your week!  I'm still struggling with health issues (I know, it's been a while!), so prayers are always appreciated!
Parting thought: Is anything else freaking out that it is nearly halfway through September???  For those of you who hadn't realized this (hence your peace of mind), IT'S ALMOST HALFWAY THROUGH SEPTEMBER!  Now you can go freak out.  Have fun!  ;-)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

to the ones who still believe in dreams...

Chase them.  Chase them until you're out of breath.
Then, keep running.

There is such freedom in packing a picnic lunch, grabbing some fishing poles, and setting out on a trip with no schedule, no commitments... just you, the man you love, and a day to be seized!

From craggy rocks to golden fields, this patch of the world is overflowing with a unique beauty...

I adore the span of it all... how one moment you are surrounded by red ground and sage brush, then the next you are hidden by mountains and pine forests.

And the far-off views.  I'm so accustomed to dark forests blocking any distant sights.  Here you can see for miles and miles...

The place Andrew took me for our most recent adventure is a mountain reservoir about 30 miles from where we live.
So.  Much.  Pretty.

How I adore the grand sight of the mountains, but sometimes it is so good to zoom in on the little, delicate beauty that makes up the larger picture.


The fishing in this place was fantastic!  Andrew caught two beautiful fish within a half hour (yes, we ate them... well, I ate a little and Andrew ate the rest).  :-D

*sun-kissed, wind-blown, and content*

After fishing, we went hunting for a peaceful spot to enjoy our picnic, which wasn't hard to find!

*sigh*  I have missed big trees SO much since leaving Indiana... I just loved being in such a woodsy area!

Such a happy place!  We had to ward off a few ants, but this was such a perfect spot for a romantic lunch together.

And, of course, we had to do some exploring!

Can you spot the wild Andrew in his natural environment?

Awesome fallen tree... to be featured in a future outfit post!!!  :-D

We made some friends on our way home!
I might have fallen a little in love with this sweet baby in the lower picture.  He had the cutest face and was so intrigued by us!

Oh, aren't this mountains simply glorious?!

And majestic... I keep wanting to hum Lord of the Rings music in places like this.  ;-)

Home again!

Moment of amazement:  Isn't God incredible?!  His designs are so full of beauty and diversity... and to think He didn't have to make it this way... He chose to make it beautiful because He loves beauty and loves for us to find pleasure in Him and what He creates!  He is SO good.